The scientists who discovered a possible link between the rise of HIV and antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere have published their results in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.
In a paper, published Thursday, the scientists said their research is the first to identify a genetic mutation that is likely to increase the risk of HIV infection.
The study, which was conducted in Belgium, found that the risk to be greater for individuals who are infected with a variant of the HLA-DRB2 gene, or a variant that produces the protein HLA2-DRG, was also increased by an unknown factor, they wrote.
The findings add to the growing body of research linking the two viruses, which has led to calls for governments and organizations to take steps to combat the spread of the virus.
Scientists are also finding that some people are at a higher risk for developing HIV after being infected with HLA1, which causes the virus to attack their immune system, instead of the brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The scientists identified the mutation by looking at the genes that code for a protein called the HIV-1 receptor, which binds to the HIV protein and is located on the same chromosome as the gene that produces HLA.
They then used a computer program to sequence the genes and compare their patterns of mutation with those of other variants of the HIV gene.
The analysis revealed that the H1 variant was most likely to be associated with increased risk of infection.
“The study demonstrates that there is a substantial overlap in the DNA sequences between H1 and HLA variants that increase risk of virus replication,” lead author Dr. Ewa Zwijnen said in a statement.
The researchers said the findings should be interpreted in light of previous research, which shows that HLA 1 and H2 are closely related.
“This work shows that the mutation in H1 may also increase the odds of infection,” Dr. Zwiyen said.
“There are also indications that it could also increase viral shedding in the blood, leading to higher levels of viral infections.”
The researchers stressed that their study was limited to individuals with H1-positive HIV, but did not examine whether the mutation could have an effect on the virus in others who are also infected with the H2 variant.
While the results are a first step in identifying a causal relationship between HIV and the risk for antisemitic attacks, they also provide an opportunity to address a concern about how HIV-infected people may respond to anti-Semitism.HIV has also been linked to anti, racist, and xenophobic attitudes in Europe.